The usage and protection of anonymous sources in recent investigative articles from The New York Times and other large media institutions has some people in America questioning the legitimacy of stories based on accounts of unnamed people. While anonymous sources have been a staple of proper investigative journalism for decades, new data shows a growing number of people believe anonymous sources should never be used in news stories.
According to a survey from the Pew Research Center, 18 percent of all U.S. adults believe anonymous sources are never acceptable within a news story. When split among Democrats and Republicans, 8 percent and 29 percent, respectively, say anonymous sources should never be used. Still, a majority from both parties agree that anonymous sources are acceptable under special circumstances.
While Americans generally accept the usage of anonymous sources in certain news stories, 68 percent of those surveyed say news stories with anonymous sources affects their credibility either a great deal or somewhat.